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Dalglish hopes derby sparks Reds

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish believes the Merseyside derby could be a catalyst for his side to change their recent run of form.

• Gerrard: Slump 'not good enough'
• Preview: Liverpool v Everton

Dalglish will hope the intense derby atmosphere will lift the Reds following their defeat at Sunderland last weekend - the first time since 2003 Liverpool had lost three successive league matches. Liverpool currently sit in seventh, just two positions higher than rivals Everton ahead of Tuesday's clash at Anfield.

"It is a massive game, like any derby is for any club involved in one," said Dalglish. "We know how much enjoyment the people get out of winning the game but the players get a lot out of enjoyment out of it also.

"The winners get to enjoy it. You get the bragging rights for the city but both clubs come straight out of that into two FA Cup quarter-final ties so you don't get much time to rest on your laurels - and you wouldn't want to either."

Recent results have virtually ended Liverpool's chances of qualifying for next season's Champions League but now, of more concern, is the pressure coming from below.

Defeat to Everton would see their near-neighbours overtake them and after their poor start to the campaign that would be seen as a major achievement across the other side of Stanley Park.

Dalglish accepts their current run is not acceptable at a club of Liverpool's stature, although he maintains with more good fortune things would have been better.

"It depends what teams you're playing but certainly it's not a record you expect from Liverpool," Dalglish said. "We don't want to get into the habit of losing games but in between the (three) losses we've had a Carling Cup victory.

"I think in both our last defeats we deserved more than what we got. They were different performances but we were playing different teams in different conditions.

"We more than matched Sunderland's attributes and had 56% possession and they had maybe three shots on target and one (goal) out of three isn't bad - it is better than what we have done.

"The performances are all well and good and very important and if you continue to play well you are going to continue to win games but you always need a bit of luck."

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